Farmers and producers

Tourist tent accommodation sparks interest at Fieldays

[16 June/ Stuff] Hawkes Bay company Safari Tents NZ offer a range of tents, made from wooden pole frames and fabric, sparking interest from farmers looking to utilise their land as an alternative income. Safari Tents NZ Owner James Lamb said depending on location, views, accessibility, local attractions and furnishings, farmers can earn $200-$500 per...

Rural mental health: ‘People are suffering in silence’

[15 June/ Radio NZ] Chief Executive of Mobile Health Mark Eager said access to mental health was a big area of concern in rural communities. Mr Eager runs the national mobile surgery bus and has helped create the Rural Health Hub at the National Fieldays this year. Mr Eager wanted to raise awareness of mental...

Green Farmer hopes to bridge divide

[10 June/ Otago Daily Times] Wairarapa farmer John Hart hopes to bridge the rural/urban divide by becoming a Green MP. Mr Hart has recently been announced at No14 on the Green Party list for September’s general election. The party presently has 14 MPs, and recent polling suggests a similar result, leaving Mr Hart optimistic in...

KKR to purchase Harvard dairy assets

[7 June/ Agri Investor] KRR is planning to purchase Harvard Management Company’s dairy investments in New Zealand for more than $70 million. The sale includes 8,500 acres of dairy farms and 5,500 cows located on the South Island and is expected to close, at earliest, at the end of 2017, pending regulatory approval. Harvard Management...

Depression guru Doug Avery recognised in Queen’s Birthday honours

[5 June/ Stuff] Marlborough farmer Doug Avery has received the Queen’s Birthday award of the Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for the effort he has put in to emphasise rural community mental health problems. As a retired farmer, Mr Avery now helps farmers develop resilience in the face of multiple challenges and...

Big force of Maori farming takes spiritual approach to the land and environment

[1 June/ Stuff] Aohanga Incorporation and Atihau-Whanganui Incorporation Chairwoman and Leader of several Maori trusts, Mavis Mullins, said Maori take a spiritual approach to the land and environment, adding that the land would tell people what it needs if people listened. Ms Mullins said Maori farming had a lot of potential; however, the farms would...

Far North farm wins Maori excellence in farming award

 [30 May/ NZ Farmer] Top honours in the Ahuwhenua Trophy BNZ Maori Excellence in Farming Award has been won by The Omapere Rangihamama Trust near Kaikohe in Northland.  The 902 hectare mixed sheep and beef property is in the process of transitioning to a mainly bull beef rearing operation.  The judges noted that the trust...

Dairy hate campaign hits farmers’ kids

 [27 May/ Rural News Group] DairyNZ Director Ben Allomes said children of dairy farmers are being bullied at school due to the nature of their parents’ jobs. Mr Allomes added dairy farmers are becoming very sensitive to criticism, especially from the campaign against dairying, feeling negatively targeted by mainstream media. Mr Allomes said the past...

Govt flooding support missing the mark – BoP farmers

 [24 May/ Radio NZ] Bay of Plenty farmers are criticising government support and funding given to aid rural flooding from Cyclone Debbie. Federated Farmers Bay of Plenty Provincial President, Darryl Jensen, said farmers in need, faced with horrendous bills from recovery, are frustrated as accessing money is difficult. Mr Jensen added little support and help...

Filipino dairy workers given path to residency

 [18 May/ Radio NZ] Filipino dairy workers in the South Island will become eligible for residence under a new visa, despite up to 600 Filipino dairy workers previously using false documentation exaggerating experience or qualifications to get work permits in 2015. The new South Island Contribution work visa will not hold the 2015 visa scam...

Labour and National discuss the realities for farmers

[16 May/ Stuff] Labour spokesman for Primary Industries Damien O’Connor and Minister for the Environment Nick Smith spoke at the Federated Farmers Southland annual meeting and told farmers they need to face the realities the future. Both parties focused on the future farmers faced, however, National was geared towards sustaining the country’s natural resources and...

Farmers and growers get $5 million Government quake relief

[11 May/ Business Day] Civil Defence Minister, Nathan Guy said the Government was fully committed to helping Kaikoura’s farming sector move forward and flourish after the November earthquake. Mr Guy announced a $5 million recovery package that would be used over the next three years to support projects investigating long term land use and restoration....

Survey finds modest lift in farm employee salaries

 [9 May/ Federated Farmers Press Release] The 2017 Federated Farmers-Rabobank Farm Employee Remuneration survey shows a modest rise in farm employee salaries over the last 12 months. The mean salary for grain farm employees increased 2.3 percent since the 2016 survey, while the mean salary increased 1.8 percent and 0.3 percent for employees on sheep...

Federated Farmers: Select committee ‘misses mark’ on illegal firearms

 [8 May/ New Zealand Herald] Federated Farmers says further restrictions on semiautomatic firearms is not the answer to the illegal possession of firearms in New Zealand, and could affect tens of thousands of firearms license holders across the country. National Board Member Katie Milne said the National Party needs to support its election promise of...

Rongotea’s Hayley Hoogendyk wins national farm manager of the year

[8 May/ Stuff] Rongotea dairy farm Manager Hayley Hoogendyk was named the New Zealand Dairy Manager of the Year at the national Dairy Industry Awards. Judges such as DairyNZ’s Richard Kyte praised her staff management and ability to set tasks and achieve targets. Mr Kyte said the high calibre of the dairy manager finalists made...

Rotorua farm subdivision opens up 89 sections

 [6 May/ New Zealand Herald] Work will start in September or October of this year on a new 89 section up-market Rotorua subdivision on the Sunny Downs Farm. The Sunny Downs subdivision is hoped to have sections on the market by early next year. The 16ha subdivision is the first stage of more developments planned...

Super Fund buys 21 local dairy farms

 [2 May/ NZ Herald] The New Zealand Superannuation Fund is looking outside the dairy sector for its next venture, eyeing land used for beef and permanent crops and expansion into Australia.  With $204 million of its rural portfolio exclusively invested in local dairy farms, the fund suggests this is about to change with other types...

Rural real estate sales up 14.4%

 [22 April/ Otago Daily Times] Rural real estate sales have increased 14.4% in the three months to March 2017 over the corresponding period last year.  Statistics from the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand show that there were 438 farm sales in the March quarter and nearly 1,800 farm sales in the year to March...

Farmers welcome migrant visa changes

[21 April/ Rural News] Federated Farmers Dairy Chair, Andrew Hoggard, has expressed concern about the government’s changes to migrant visa arrangements, in particular the impact that the three year cap on visa may have on farmers.  He noted that this arrangement may mean that migrant labourers would have to leave after three years having developed...

Floods ‘financially devastating’ for some farmers

 [18 April/ Radio NZ] Farmers on the Hauraki Plains have begun cleaning up after two storms in a fortnight, and are facing a risk of feed shortages caused by the floods. Federated Farmers Waikato Provincial President Chris Lewis said it would be financially devastating especially after two low-return seasons. Mr Lewis suggested farmers should start...

Peak water moving through flooded farmland

[18 April/ Stuff] The Piako River at Patetonga topped its stop banks on Sunday, drowning acres of productive farmland. Federated Farmers Waikato Provincial President Chris Lewis said it will take badly affected farmers 3 to 4 months to get going again. The water is likely to leave some paddocks with a layer of silt rotting...

Dairy farmers to get advice on the media

 [17 April/ The NZ Farmers Weekly] Dairy Farmers likely to have contact with mainstream media have been offered support by Dairy NZ after the TV1 programme The Price of Milk provoked hostile farmer reaction. The programme filmed a conventional farm during the worst winter of recent years, with bad cow conditions, calving difficulties, inundated farm...

Farmers bring in pumps to drain sodden land

[15 April/ Radio NZ] Bay of Plenty farmers are concerned it will take months before their farms are normalised. Many farmers have been forced to move their stock to alternative locations due to flooding that has hit the region following a low which flooded Edgecumbe, and Cyclone Cook. It has been estimated that 5000 animals...

More rain coming – ‘You don’t know whether to laugh or cry’

[11 April/ Radio NZ] A low coming off the Tasman Sea followed by Cyclone Cook is forecasted to bring more heavy rain to areas already affected by recent flooding that drowned Edgecumbe and caused country-wide slips and road closures. The ongoing rain is causing farmers to be physically, financially and emotionally affected as their farms...